Liverpool: Sakho Brilliant & Mad, But Aspas Is Sadly The New Borini...
Look, I hate to complain but......
We're back at the top of the league, a point ahead of the pack (early days, early days, I know) still unbeaten, scored more than one goal for the first time this season, somebody other than Daniel Sturridge scored, Daniel Sturridge scored again (obviously), only the 4th Liverpool player to score in the first 4 games of the season and played some stunning football.
I'd really like to see what happens when Liverpool finally play in both halves of a game.
Once again we had the cliched 'game of two halves' - a first 45 minutes of utterly impeccable creativity followed by a brief period of niggles breaking briefly into all out war followed closely by a panicked rearguard action.
The first half had seen almost total Liverpool domination despite being behind within a minute. Jonjo Shelvey managed to display in one game the qualities that had caused Liverpool to sign him in the first place as a promising 18 year old alongside the lapses in concentration that made the majority of fans so relieved to see him depart Anfield; a miskick and lucky bounce outside the 18 yard box led to a changing of feet and a fine finish, an ex player haunting his old club. Within a minute he had provided Sturridge with the kind of defensive back pass that strikers dream of, before the end of the half he had provided another assist for the debuting Victor Moses.
The second 45 minutes saw Ashley Williams discover a new way of dealing with the creative impulses of Philippe Coutinho; a swift kick to the groin will always hamper the ability to create a spark of magic, although it appeared a shoulder injury from the resulting fall that saw the Brazilian leave the pitch.
Replaced by Iago Aspas who seems in danger of becoming this year's Fabio Borini, midfeld creativity vanished completely and the game was Swansea's. It would be ridiculous to deny that the welsh side were immeasurably superior in the second half, their second goal was deserved, a third would not have been a shock given the sense of terror settling into Liverpool's play.
In fairness to Shelvey, one thing that could always be said about him in his time at Anfield was that he would never hide; no matter how poor his game, he would always look for the ball, always look for involvement, usually to his detriment as his form went from bad to worse. Here he reappeared after the break, against all predictions, to run the midfield. Liverpool were swamped by white shirts. The casual viewer would have been thoroughly entertained by a compelling game of football. Liverpool fans though? Praying for the final whistle.
And our other debutant? Our 'marquee signing' central defender? It looks as though it may be an interesting ride with Mamadou Sakho; powerful in the air, able to use the ball well, confident enough in his own ability to try (and succeed with) ridiculous flicks in dangerous areas, strong in the tackle but more than willing to step out from the defensive line at inopportune moments. May be brilliant, may be more than a little mad.
So, no more 100% record but still top of the league. Sturridge on fire but far from fit, Suarez only a week away from a return, options and fluidity, what more could you ask for?
Well, ninety minutes without the need for all out panic would be nice.
Still, if nothing else, at least tonight has given the world a new pub quiz question - which footballer scored one and provided three assists in a two all draw?